Simulator designed to improve rider safety

Motorcycle Accident Avoidance Training Simulator to feature Australian conditions

An Australian computer games production company hopes to develop a Motorcycle Accident Avoidance Training Simulator to help improve rider safety.

Podium Entertainment managing director Chris Wise says the 3D interactive program would challenge motorcycle riders with a range of potentially dangerous scenarios, how to deal with them and how to avoid them in future instances.

“We’re hoping to fund the project via a combination of sponsorship and Government grant contributions, and then provide the simulator to the Australian public free of charge, ensuring it gets to the widest audience possible,” he says.

“There is a need for improved motorcycle rider safety, and if we can use simulator technology to help achieve that, even to help save a single life, then that is all the motivation we need to do this.”

Chris says their simulator would be transportable so it could visit schools and presumably places where riders gather.

It will use the latest 3D technology with the Oculus Rift VR headset, similar to the set-up Victory Motorcycles used in their Virtual Ride to Sturgis displays around the US.

However, Chris says theirs will feature realistic environments and scenarios based on Australian roads and driving conditions.

“You will be in full control of the bike at all times,” he says”The bike will behave like a real bike, and you’ll have the ability to interact with traffic, for example getting knocked off the bike if hit by a car, or learning high-speed emergency braking techniques.

Think of it as being similar to Grand Theft Auto, but having to abide by road rules.

It will also use state-of-the-art automotive physics for “ultra-realistic handling and vehicle dynamics” in all types of weather conditions and road surfaces.

So it should be a lot more advanced than the model used by the NSW Centre for Road Safety for Motorcycle Awareness Week.

Chris says their program will provide Australian riders with a practical was to learn skills for road safety and emergency situations.

“Young and inexperienced motorcycle riders simply don’t have the skills and knowledge necessary to avoid potentially dangerous situations on the road,” Chris says in the company’s proposal to potential sponsors.

“This is often due to not taking preventative measures, not knowing how to react, or not knowing how their motorcycle will react in emergency situations.

“The primary function of the simulator is to highlight the dangers on Australian roads, while teaching riders the skills necessary to navigate through them and how to avoid them in future instances.

“Learning through simulation is a proven and viable solution for improving real-life driving skills.

“A properly executed accident avoidance simulator will instil users with more confidence on the road while encouraging safer driving patterns.

“By providing inexperienced riders with the opportunity to learn bike control and accident avoidance in a realistic yet safe environment, we will be arming riders with potential life-saving skills.”

The Sunshine Coast-based Podium Entertainment developed a high-tech immersive 3D driving simulator for the University of the Sunshine Coast and RACQ Insurance for research into road rage. The simulation images in this article come from that project.

Chris says he used to ride until he got married and is now a “huge motorsports fan” who also wants to create an accurate Isle of Man TT simulator, which would involve laser scanning the entire 60km circuit.

If you are interested in helping Chris and his team fund the Motorcycle Accident Avoidance Training Simulator, he can be contacted via email.